On June 6, 2016, the Supreme Court granted the certiorari petition of Texas death row inmate Bobby Moore, limited to the first question in the petition: (1) Whether it violates the Eighth Amendment and this Court's decisions in Hall v. Florida, 134 S.Ct. 1986 (2014) and Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)
to prohibit the use of current medical standards on intellectual
disability, and require the use of outdated medical standards, in
determining whether an individual may be executed.
Also on June 6th, the Supreme Court granted the certiorari petition of Texas death row inmate Duane Buck. His petition raised the following question: Duane Buck's death penalty case raises a pressing issue of national
importance: whether and to what extent the criminal justice system
tolerates racial bias and discrimination. Specifically, did the United
States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit impose an improper and
unduly burdensome Certificate of Appealability (COA) standard that
contravenes this Court's precedent and deepens two circuit splits when
it denied Mr. Buck a COA on his motion to reopen the judgment and obtain
merits review of his claim that his trial counsel was constitutionally
ineffective for knowingly presenting an "expert" who testified that Mr.
Buck was more likely to be dangerous in the future because his is Black,
where future dangerousness was both a prerequisite for a death sentence
and the central issue at sentencing?